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 OJD  Vol.11 No.2 , May 2022
Effectiveness of Online Mindfulness Training for People Experiencing Mental Illness
Abstract: Background: Evidence has shown that self-guided web application mindfulness training can improve mental health. In this study, the Be Mindful online-based mindfulness training software application was offered through a United Kingdom (UK) universal community healthcare provider to patients with a mental illness diagnosis. Be Mindful is an online course providing instruction on mindfulness theories and practice training, progress tracking, integrated guidance/feedback, and motivational emails. Objective: The aim of this paper is to present feasibility findings and outcomes on anxiety, depression, and stress of an intervention offering Be Mindful. Participants were adults who had a mental illness diagnosis and were under the care of community mental health services. Methods: Open-label patient cohort design, with no control group. Pre- and post-intervention assessment using participant self-report measures: Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7); Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10); and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9; a measure of depression severity). Results: Two hundred and seventy-four started and thirty-one patients completed the Be Mindful programme and outcome measures. PSS scores at baseline significantly improved from 24.6 (1.79) to 18.7 (2.05) at the end (p < 0.001), with a large effect size of 0.498. GAD-7 scores at baseline significantly improved from 11.4 (1.3) to 8.00 (1.35) at end (p < 0.001), with a medium effect size of 0.354. PHQ-9 scores at baseline significantly improved from 13.7 (1.42) to 9.09 (1.76) to 9.81 (1.77) at end (p < 0.001), with a medium effect size of 0.378. Limitations: There was no control group, and the intervention was adjunct to existing treatment. Conclusions: Be Mindful can be offered through a UK community NHS Trust and can have a significant impact on symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress in patients with experience of mental illness. Roll-out through community mental health providers to people with experience of mental illness is justified. Well-designed and sufficiently powered randomised controlled trials of theory-driven online mindfulness training for mental illness patient populations are required.
Cite this paper: Griffiths, C. , Hina, F. , Pollard, L. and Reid, I. (2022) Effectiveness of Online Mindfulness Training for People Experiencing Mental Illness. Open Journal of Depression, 11, 15-29. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2022.112002.
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